Retreat from the City

10 Feb

Allies at Camp Greenkil

L to R: 2nd years Harley Jones, me, and Juliann DiNicola, 1st years Chui-Hung Wong and Kate Shaffer at Camp Greenkill. Photo Credit: 2nd year Ally Cea Weaver.

A chance to escape the bustle of New York City is always welcome and that’s exactly what we got to do when 54 Allies journeyed up to Lake Hugenot, New York for our Mid Year retreat this past weekend. Connecting with nature is always my favorite part of these trips since this was my third (yes third!) retreat with PANY. As a second year I thought it might be repetitive, but getting to walk around the frozen lake on a partner walk with everyone in that photo was actually a great time to relax and enjoy the company of fellow Allies.

The trip was also a big reminder that I’m a second year Ally and the experience is completely different. The second years were able to facilitate an Ally-Led Station – workshops where we get to share our interests – examples being Salsa classes, portrait photography tips (which I helped Kate above in blue to do), art making, and yoga.

Teaching photography

Teaching Photo 2

Teaching photography tricks with Kate. Photo Credit: Max Chang, PANY Program Manager.

We as 2nd years decided to create a workshop in self care and de-stressing, which turned into a big sister session for the first year Allies in answering their questions on how we were able to juggle our work at Partner Organizations, our work with Public Allies including trainings and Team Service Projects, and oh yes let’s not forget our personal lives.The main thread that I took away from that session was that if you want something to change at work, or if you are overwhelmed, be proactive about it! Yes your Program Managers are there to aide you on your journey but you have to help them help you in your anxieties and try and help find solutions. It makes sense but we forget this sometimes. And if all else fails, just host an awesome spelling bee like all of us in Cabin #4 did (below)!

Photo Credit: Janine Mascari, Public Allies 2011-2012.

I would love to know for anybody juggling many things at once: How do you manage to de-stress and take care of yourself?


2 Responses to “Retreat from the City”

  1. Kaleena February 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

    For me, destressing entails yoga or creative endeavors. I find that crocheting especially helps me destress as it is easy for me to zone out. Also, spending time with my husband and other family members helps too. I do not know what I would do without my support system.

    • pemadb March 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

      Isn’t it amazing how much putting some creative energy into something just completely puts your mind at ease? Thanks for the tips, I also totally agree about the importance of a support system.

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